NOW With Alex Wagner, 2/19/13, 7:00 PM ET

Furloughs and finger-pointing ahead of sequester

Deputy New York City mayor Howard Wolfson, Joy Reid from TheGrio.com, Politico’s Maggie Haberman, MSNBC contributor Jared Bernstein, and The Washington Post...

A sequester is like ‘leeching’–leaving the economy to bleed

Updated

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein dropped by the NOW panel Wednesday to sort out fact from fiction regarding the looming “sequester” due to hit the economy on March 1.

“The sequester is not a cliff or a curb or a drop or a ceiling, “Klein said.” It just begins on March 1. It doesn’t mean anything gigantic happens on that date.” Klein noted that of the four current and recent economic crises: the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling, the sequester, and the continuing resolution, the sequester is the least disruptive to the economy.

Still, he noted, “it’s a bad way to run a government, because it cuts too much spending in a weak economy.”

The panel discussed the respective political strategies of President Obama and House Republicans–with Alex comparing the latter to some old school medicine. “It reminds me of the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s when ‘leeching’ was the preferred medical treatment,” she joked. “It was just ‘bleed it out,’ bleed it out’ and that’s effectively the strategy that the GOP has taken vis-à-vis legislating.”

“At least they had some evidence in the 1800’s that it worked,” Klein retorted.

“Worse than leeching!” Alex noted. “Ezra Klein is on the record–“Better than a hell storm, but worse than leeching!”

A sequester is like 'leeching'--leaving the economy to bleed

Updated